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Conference Papers Year : 2019

Aspects of the emergence of environmental humanities in the Caribbean


This paper intends to show how investigating the seaweed in the emergence of a new 21st century oceanic imagination resulting from sea level rise also leads to set up an assessment of the emergence of environmental humanities in the Caribbean highlighting how they relate to the work of Caribbean writers who have theorized the ocean as” the violent convergence of the environment and history” (DeLougrey). Caribbean ecopoetics reveals the poetics of landscape elaborated through the works of 20th century Caribbean writers, which provide a re-envisioning of paradigms of self-definition and worldview. These poetics reveal the way in which the traumatic crossing of oceans intervenes in the definition of Caribbean peoples, notably in the works Derek Wescott and Edouard Glissant. Indeed, for Derek Walcott the sea is history. For Edouard Glissant, the landscape reminds us of those whose history has been shattered by the tragedy of the slave trade. According to Steinberg, Caribbean aesthetics articulates ontologies of the sea that conceive the ocean as an element that is constantly reconstructed by nonhuman, biological and geophysical, historical and contemporary elements (Steinberg, 157). Caribbean writers and critics have proposed various metaphors and concepts to theorize the Caribbean and its relationship with the world. The Caribbean as a repeating island (Benitez Rojo), the concept of the rhizome and the archipelagic thought of Edouard Glissant etc. More recent work calls for a shift from the rhizome concept to the Sargasso concept as a model for conceptualizing transoceanic connections in the Black Atlantic ( Pinnix).The Sargasso therefore emerges as an oceanic figure allowing a better understanding of links and losses, since the migratory Sargassum is capable of conceptually entangling disparate cultures, while taking into account the histories and gaps in the stories contained in the ocean abyss.


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Dates and versions

hal-02463334 , version 1 (31-01-2020)


  • HAL Id : hal-02463334 , version 1


Rodolphe Solbiac. Aspects of the emergence of environmental humanities in the Caribbean. Caribbean Science and Innovation Meeting 2019, Oct 2019, Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe), France. ⟨hal-02463334⟩


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